Separate from the ongoing and very complicated Erik Karlsson trade rumours, another big trade target and unresolved situation remains.
Artemi Panarin, whose name hasn’t been in headlines as much as the aforementioned Karlsson, is also looking to be swapped, and reportedly favours a trade to the New York Rangers according to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.
Also detailed in the report, however, was New York’s stance on the possibility. Portzline reported that the timing at the moment would not work for the Rangers to work out a deal. In the middle of a rebuild, and with no real urgency to make a push for the playoffs, the fit isn’t there at the moment.
But it appears that there is another team which is using its lovely beaches and volleyball nets to actively recruit the star forward.
— Nikita Kucherov (@86Kucherov) August 23, 2018
Pictured in the photo with Panarin are Tampa Bay Lightning players Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov. There’s nothing unusual about hockey stars who play for the Lightning posting pictures showcasing the joy of a Florida summer. However, when you do so with a certain Columbus Blue Jackets star who happens to be looking for a trade, eyebrows are going to be raised.
In addition, Kucherov’s tweet was retweeted by Panarin. And if that isn’t enough for you, the three-year pro has also purchased a condominium in Miami worth $800,000.
Tampa Bay currently has just under $3 million in cap space, while the impending UFA’s final year comes with a tag of $6 million. So some contract juggling would need to be done for the Lightning to afford the winger.
But if we have learned anything about team general manager Steve Yzerman, it is that he can probably make this work.